Daily devotional for spiritual encouragement.

25 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and [a]let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.

26 [b]But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings.  Mark 1125-26

In the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance “trespasses” which is how it is stated in the KJV is defined in the Greek as “an unintentional error, transgression, fail, fall, fault, offense, sin, trespass”.  In other words, anything negative, God expects us to forgive as He has forgiven our negative behavior!  That is a sobering thought and a stern command!  When we stand praying forgive, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go) so that God can forgive us and let our shortcomings go and drop!  My aren’t we quick to say, “I asked forgiveness, now that is gone and over, never to be remembered against me again!” yet we say also, “Well, I may forgive, but I will never forget it (as in holding onto anger or a grudge)!”  It is true, we may not be able to forget, but when we truly forgive, though we may never completely forget, we don’t hold a grudge or bring it up again and again, whether in our minds or to other people.  If we do hold on to things, it causes us to be ineffective presently and in the future.  Satan set the grudge up!  Why did he do that?  Could it be, you may be the very vessel used during a future time in that person’s life? Something is up!  Satan never wastes his time!!  Don’t allow him to cause you to miss open doors of opportunities, God has made ready for you!

When I began to study God’s forgiveness, I realized it does not say never to be remembered, as in obliterated from the mind, but it means in the Hebrew to “not be mindful, recount, or  record”.  In other words, they are not held against us!  God never mentions our sins and shortcomings to us again.  We may not be able to be in a relationship with a person who has hurt us, but we are still required to forgive them, not be mindful or always remembering what happened until our thinking is overtaken and it becomes a stronghold.  In other, words someone who molested you is not someone you can have a relationship with and what they did is NOT okay!  You do have to let the anger, malice, and possible hatred go!  How many times have we heard someone say, “I am sorry” just to hear the reply, “It’s okay.”  Abuse, in any form, is NOT okay!  Our response should be, “I forgive you” but that does not mean you continue to put yourself in harm’s way by being in a relationship with that person.  In fact, that would be completely unwise and God does not require that at all!

At one time,  many years ago, I was a very unforgiving person.  I thought to say I forgave someone was to okay their behavior toward me.  God taught me nothing could be further from the truth.  When I learned this, all bitterness I had held in my heart left and I was instantly delivered!  I began to love people, instead of being  sarcastic, angry,  and harsh.  The fruit of the spirit gentleness and love began to develop in me and along with that came the peace I had cried and cried and cried out for God to give me.

Awhile back, I went through one of the most tremendous hurts I have ever faced in my life.  Offense desperately wanted to grip me again! If I told the story, which I won’t because people who personally know me read this blog and would recognize those involved, you may say I had every right to be.  But, that is the whole point of this post!  We don’t have ANY right to be offended!!  We forfeited that when we said yes to Jesus!  We are to be as wise as a serpent, who knows all the while what is going on around him, but as harmless as a dove, who flies away to keep peace where there could be trouble!  Think about a dove’s behavior…it doesn’t peck at the other birds, it doesn’t fight for another bird’s nest, it lets the other birds around a feeder eat first and it eats from the ground what drops when other birds are sitting on the  feeder!  It never pushes another bird away to get “his/her share”.   What a lesson there is in that!

When this terrible thing happened it involved another lady in a church.  She was obnoxious, rude, hard to get along with, and bossy.  Last night my daughter came in late from work and was hungry but didn’t want to go eat alone.  My husband and I went with her to sit with her, since we had already eaten.  As we sat in the restaurant one of her grown children walked in.  I didn’t see him at first, but the next thing I knew he spoke to me and reached out to hug me.  I was so glad to see him!  Then the lady herself came to the table with a sweet and sincere smile on her face.  I could tell she was not the same.  I reached for her and hugged her and greeted her and I was truly glad to see her!  After we had left, I began to think about how I had felt no anger, but had been glad to see her and to see her doing well.  There was a peace and kindness I had not seen in her countenance before.  I felt nothing but warmth toward her and I realized I had truly forgiven, not just “mentally asserted” that I forgave because that was the “right” thing to do, but had REALLY forgiven!  Oh, the joy that swept over me!  I was no longer a captive to what had happened to me!  I was FREE!!!  Free is a good feeling!  It feels like a weight literally lifts from you and in a way it does!  Unforgiveness is baggage, and baggage is always a load to some degree.

Is there something you have been afraid to forgive, dear reader?  Have you been misguided by the enemy like I was thinking to forgive is to say it is okay it happened when it wasn’t? Maybe you need to forgive yourself and get out from a load of condemnation.  Give it to God and let Him throw it far away, never to return again!   I hope this helped you today!  Give yourself the gift of forgiveness and walk with a much lighter step.  Let joy permeate you, and it will when you let that thing go once and for all!

Blessings to you, my precious reader!  May God’s richest blessings be upon your life! I hope this daily devotional was a spiritual encouragement for you today!

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